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TUT shuts down campuses

08 March 2016 - 02:49 By Neo Goba

The Tshwane University of Technology yesterday closed its Soshanguve campuses until next month. Last week police and security guards clashed with protesters on several occasions at both campuses, leaving several people injured.The protesters temporarily prevented the resumption of registration at the Soshanguve South Campus and security guards were forced to use rubber bullets and a water canon to disperse them.Vice-chancellor Lourens van Staden said the university protests were continuing despite a court interdict and an agreement that management had reached with student representative councils.He added: "It must be noted that a number of the people who are causing these disruptions are, in fact, not registered TUT students."The university has given students in campus residences until 2pm today to vacate.TUT spokesperson Willa de Ruyter said the decision to close down the campuses was purely to ensure the safety of students."The university has an obligation to make sure that students are protected and we will use this time to plan accordingly."The university has, as a result, decided to suspend academic activities for students with immediate effect at both the Soshanguve South and North campuses until April 5," she said.De Ruyter said yesterday was the last day to register at the Soshanguve campuses.The registration deadline has been extended three times since the beginning of the year.De Ruyter said: "No more registrations will be allowed for the courses that are fully subscribed."The other TUT campuses will not be affected by the closure.Students who haven't finished registering can do so at any open TUT campus, the university said.Department of Higher Education spokesman Khaye Nkwanyana called on vice-chancellors to show firm leadership ."Vice-chancellors must stabilise the situations at their universities."They cannot control the universities while sitting in their offices. They must be on the ground and engage with students."Last week Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande held a meeting with 26 of the country's 27 vice-chancellors to discuss the issues surrounding the resurgence of protests.At a meeting at the weekend, University of Pretoria management decided to lift the suspension of the EFF students who were deemed culpable for public violence on campus, trade union Solidarity said yesterday...

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